I have had this question gnawing away at me for a few weeks now. I’m finally at a point in which I can address the issue at hand. The question I’ve been pondering is, “Is it ok to flirt with people of the opposite sex when you are married?” I want to give a one word answer to this, but I don’t think that most answers are that cut and dry.
What Does it Mean to Flirt?
Defining what flirting means has been one of the hardest parts of answer this question. Unless we are all on the same page about what it means to flirt, then I don’t know if we can come up with an answer that we agree upon. When I am talking about flirting, I’m picturing someone doing or saying something to get special attention from a person of the opposite sex.
It isn’t all about the words or actions that you choose, it is about catching the eye of someone else. Some people misinterpret kindness as flirting. I can see that line of reasoning in some situations. If you have a guy or girl that is only used to receiving positive attention in hopes that sex will occur, then any positive actions can seem like flirting to them.
What I Want You to Walk Away With About the Idea of Flirting
I’m not going to make a long list of all of these actions or words that are considered to be flirty. There are a lot of signs that someone is into you or trying to get your attention in a flirtatious way. Instead, I want you to focus on the intent of everything you do or say.
You know your own heart when it comes to actions. I’m asking you to take a look at what you are communicating to those around you with what you say and do. If what you are doing is intended to gain attention of someone you find attractive, or you just want the attention of the opposite sex so you can feel good about yourself, then you are flirting.
Is it Ok to Flirt With Others When You are Married?
Now that I hope we are on the same page about what I mean when I say flirt, it is time to address the question at hand. Is it ok to flirt with someone else when you are married? The culture says that there is no harm in this type of action. The culture tells you that you can be flirty without negative consequences.
I am here to ask you to look at being flirtatious in a different way. Do you know what the Bible tells us about adultery. Jesus says in Matthew 5:28 that if a man looks at a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. That is a pretty high standard wouldn’t you say?
What Did Jesus Mean in Matthew 5:28
Do you think Jesus said that because He doesn’t want us to have any fun? Maybe you think He said that to scare us out of committing adultery. I believe Jesus tells us this because He knows our hearts. Jesus has a full understanding of the way humans think and work.
He tells us that looking at a woman or man with lust is a sin just like adultery is a sin. Since He knows humanity so well, He makes this statement so that we can understand how thoughts turn into actions. What you think about and dwell on has everything to do with what actions you take.
Can Flirting Lead to Adultery?
The short answer to this is, YES! Yes, flirting can lead to adultery. Even if you do not have a physical adultery with someone, you may are putting yourself at risk for adultery in your heart. When you seek attention with the purpose of feeling desired by someone you are attracted to, or someone of the opposite sex, you are on dangerous ground.
Real relationships develop an emotional connection. Not all emotional connections are sexual. Not all intimate connections are sexual either. If you build an emotional connection with someone through flirty actions and words, then you are setting yourself up for a dangerous relationship.
Would Your Spouse Approve of Your Actions Toward Members of the Opposite Sex?
If your spouse was a fly on the wall when you are bantering around with someone of the opposite sex, would they get upset? Anytime you feel that you must hide your behavior from your spouse, you are in dangerous territory. When you are engaging in relationships with others, those connections should have full disclosure.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…and So Do Guys
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have fun with the people in your life. What I’m saying is that you should always check your motives when it comes to relationship building. Are you building a relationship with this person because they make you feel attractive or special? If so, then you should step back and put a hold on the connection.
We do not push safeguarding our marriages in this culture like we should. There is nothing wrong with missing out on a relationship because you are protecting your marriage.